Had I any real concept of what I was getting myself into, The Witches of Auburn might still be something my family and I talk about when we’re bored.

I wasn’t a complete idiot. I read books and articles on how to write paranormal fiction. I outlined some of the story which for me, is not a common practice. I read another book in YA Paranormal. I swear I tried, but when it came to actually developing the plot of this story, the experience was overwhelming. Hats off to all the paranormal writers out there.

In the last several years, I’ve written eight full length contemporary romance novels and a few short stories. All of which were a labor of love, but a paranormal book….that’s something totally different. The Witches have a heavy element of romance so that thread of the plot I could easily handle, but then enemies, conflicts beyond the love story, powers, and their impact on the universe had to be considered. A story cannot be paranormal unless the paranormal aspects are the central part of the story. I couldn’t just write another romance and make the characters able to fly. Which I knew!! But there was a gap between knowing and executing.

I remember thinking during the third or fourth draft of the Witches, “This is like writing five books in one.” There was my romance, two story lines about different enemies, the bloodline and curse, and then the YA elements of moving to a new school, navigating late teen situations like sex and drugs and curfews. There are a tremendous amount of considerations to make the story authentic and paranormal, but it’s worth it if you can pull it off.

Now that I have my paranormal pieces defined and my characters introduced, I’m hoping the future witches books will seem less daunting, but from the little bit I’ve already drafted, that’s not going to be the case. Paranormal is a meaty genre, not to be taken lightly, but it’s so much fun to write.


About Gifts of Our Mothers

The Gifts of Our Mothers (The Witches of Auburn, #1)
by Hazel Black
Publication Date: October 2nd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


In the dark woods I’m forbidden to go into, lying on top of the one person I swore I’d stay away from, and hiding from the men who chased him, I hold still as Ike Kennedy whispers in my ear, “Don’t leave me.”

The questions of why my mother packed up our lives and moved us to Auburn, New Jersey when she, herself, fled here twenty years ago, plague me every day. Her past and the people in this town loom over our family with a haunting understanding of the coven I was born into, but realize I know nothing about. The enemies I heard stories about as a child attack without warning or regard for human life, but I don’t know who they are.

I’m Ever Ayars. I can fly. I can disappear. I can move things with my mind, but my gifts are my only clarity. Lost within a new school, new friends, and a new life, there is only one thing I know for sure.

I’m not leaving Ike Kennedy.


 About the Author

Hazel Black graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks, her neighbors began to talk, and her mother told her to find a job.

She settled into corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Hazel quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It was during this time she became an avid observer of the characters she met and the heartaches they endured. Her years of study taught her that laughter, even the completely inappropriate kind, was the key to survival.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. As an avid swimmer, if Hazel is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she is, and always has been, a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.

Hazel Black writes contemporary romance as Eliza Freed. To keep up with all new releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter here.


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